Windows Vista forum

General discussion

Is 64 bit worth it?

by webacons / September 2, 2008 12:45 AM PDT

Hi all: I've been reading previous posts comparing 32 bit with 64 bit OS and I'm still confused. Is it worth buying a new computer with 64 bit OS, or am I looking for trouble?

Here's the specs of the new computer I've been looking at:

HP Pavilion a6500f PC with Intel Pentium Dual-Core desktop processor E2220, 2.4 GHz.
4GB DDR2 Memory, 500GB Hard Drive
NVIDIA GeForce 7100 Integrated Graphics

Comes with Vista Home Premium with Windows Media Center (64 bit) with SP1.

Plus it comes with Samsung 20" wide LCD monitor.

All this for $550. I thought it sounded like a great deal. Am I wrong?

I hope I supplied enough information.

Thanks for any and all responses.

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If your stuff runs on it. Yes.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 2, 2008 1:04 AM PDT
In reply to: Is 64 bit worth it?

It's the future of Windows but if you find your software bombs out, ask HP for the downgrade (misnomer warning!) to 32-bit XP or Vista.

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Software won't work?
by mopscare42 / September 2, 2008 1:08 AM PDT
In reply to: Is 64 bit worth it?

I have asked the same question about 64 bit and was told that most venders have released 64 bit drivers for things like printer, scanners and other hardware, but most of the software I have will not work.
One tech told me the reason the computer companys are sending out 64 bit computers is because they are installing 4 or more gigs of ram in them now.
I have the 64 bit disk for Vista, but think I will wait until there are software patches available for 64 bit before I install it.

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"most of the software I have will not work"
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 2, 2008 1:13 AM PDT
In reply to: Software won't work?

You didn't give a list but for instance your common firewall, antivirus should never work unless Vista 64 is noted. Other software such as Office 97, 2000 and such do work but are unsupported. Can you give a short list of the titles you fear won't work?

Remember there is a difference of "it runs" vs. "We support it."

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Hi Bob
by mopscare42 / September 2, 2008 4:25 AM PDT

The programs that I use the most are photo programs that the tech said wouldn't work.
Such as
Adobe CS3
Adobe Photoshop Elements 6
Canon Digital Professional 3.4
He also said my Quicken and a couple greeting card programs wouldn't work.
He didn't know about my Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007.
I would like to try the 64 bit, but am scared I will end up with a bunch of software I can't use.


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Sadly I can't check into this.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 2, 2008 5:38 AM PDT
In reply to: Hi Bob

Looking at finds 10+ versions. I can't see if they are right or not.

In closing I'm running into cases where they tell the poor buyer that it's not for Vista 64 yet it runs just fine. They are right it's not the full new spiffy 64 bit version of the application.

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Thanks Bob
by mopscare42 / September 2, 2008 6:58 AM PDT

For looking into that for me.
I will be buying a new computer in the next couple months that will have 32 bit, so I can transfer everything onto the new one and then load 64 bit on the old one and see what will and will not work.
Thanks Again


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If you find the exact version I'll be sure to check it out.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 2, 2008 11:01 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks Bob

At to the remarks below, be sure to see the member's profile and see the flavor of their posts. Sometimes you find out they were burnt by a certain make. I can share our office was burnt over a 24 pack of Sony laptops. Took over a year to recover from that one. Today we have a bazillion Dells and a few HP and other names. Nothing bad to say about such.

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Vista 64
by windmill414 / September 5, 2008 3:05 PM PDT
In reply to: Hi Bob

I have been using the Vista 64 ultimate for a while and found that everything works fine...Office 2007, Adobe Acrobat 10 works (during install a patch is loaded), and all of the other programs work...When installing them be sure to open install folder and right click to run as administrator.
I even got Microsoft Flight Simulator to run!!! Had to install and then go into the program, find the EXE and send it to desktop. Then copy the run disk to extra hard drive so the disk is not needed.
Have installed the beta explorer 8 and it works great too
I used Acornis to copy all the programs to external drive,.. then after setting the hard drives to RAID 0 was able to clone back and all the programs worked without any reinstall!!!

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Vista 64 & Software
by MarciBlu / April 14, 2009 3:43 AM PDT
In reply to: Vista 64

We just got a Dell Studio with Vista 64 bit. I have found some patches that will work for Print Shop. I also have Paint Shop Pro 8 and want to use Quicken, but will have to buy a new one as mine has the 3.5 discs for loading. Happy They say there is a patch for the newer Quickens to work. Does anyone know for sure if Office Home and Student will work on this? We want to purchase an office program, but want to be sure before we buy. I mainly want Word and Excel. Does anyone know of a patch for the Paint Shop Pro 8?

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For starters.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 14, 2009 3:56 AM PDT
In reply to: Vista 64 & Software
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Use 64 bit Vista Ultimate
by PiperL4 / September 8, 2008 10:13 AM PDT
In reply to: Hi Bob

I have been using Vista 64 bit Ultimate for about six months now with no regrets. It is nice to be able to have 8 gigs of ram working with pictures and vidio. I use Adoby CS3, Pinnacle Studio Plus, Roxio Creator 10 Suite, Acronis True Image 11 and Office 2007 with no problems. The only problems I have ran into was with Pinnacle Dazzle which is 32 bit only at this time. Check with the home page of your programs and they will tell you if 64 bit apps are supported. I think most who have trouble are running under-powered machines.

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Running 32Bit software on a 64Bit OS.
by dnheller / September 22, 2008 11:45 PM PDT
In reply to: Hi Bob

A tech told you that your Adobe CS3, Photoshop Elements, Canon Software, and Quicken would NOT run under a 64 bit operating system?

I can personally state that Photoshop Elements and Adobe CS (and newer versions Including CS3) run perfectly under Vistax64. There are 64-bit versions of all the latest Canon software and Drivers, and Quicken runs without any problems under 64bit.

If you want to be sure that future CS versions will still work for you, you can see their FAQ at . Basically, if you own the software, then you may download and activate the trial version of it. So, say you bought CS5 2 years from now, but you accidentally picked up the box that is for 32-bit systems (assuming they release seperate versions) but you needed 64-bit. You should just be able to download and activate the trial using your CD-Key.

In other words; I'm not sure who you use as a tech, but you need to stop asking them for advice.

------- Now here's the REAL difference between 32 and 64 -------

In technical terms, 64-bit Operating Systems address and interface with your RAM (and all other memory) in different ways. 32 bit systems are only capable of addressing a maximum of 4GB of memory, including System RAM, Video Memory, Sound Memory (Yes, there is memory on your soundcard), and various other devices which have dedicated memory onboard.

For those of us who don't know what that means, it simply means that for systems with 4GB of RAM, Windows will "turn off" some of it, so that it can still use the Video Memory, Sound Memory, etc. It will disable an amount equal to your total non-system memory.

Say I have a system running Vista32, 4GB of RAM, a 512MB video card and a 64MB sound card. Add the total non-system memory (Video and Sound cards) for a total of 576MB. Then subtract that 576MB from the 4,096MB (4GB) of RAM. The total usable System RAM (And the total that Windows will see) is 4,096-576=3,520 - a tiny bit less than 3.5GB.

Vista x64 is capable of supporting up to 64GB of RAM, so in other words, you will not lose any practical RAM when using it.

Software compatibility right now (Late 2008) is almost a non-issue. Almost all major software vendors cater to the 64-bit group now, and most (90+%) 32-bit software will run without issue.

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What..... that's REALLY strange...
by dnheller / September 22, 2008 11:49 PM PDT
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Now that is strange...
by glenn30 / September 23, 2008 6:08 AM PDT

I go to the link you inserted in this message and it comes up as identified to me, glenn30.

Go figure! That is not all that's wrong with the forum software.


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Two things...
by John.Wilkinson / September 23, 2008 9:39 AM PDT

1.) The post attribution issue is well known. Just submit an offensive alert to report it. You may also want to see the sticky in the Forum Feedback forum about it.

2.) The link you provided is designed to link the member to his/her own profile, not specifically yours. (That one's thankfully not another glitch, Glenn.)


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Adobe PE 6/Premiere 4
by agentmoulder / October 6, 2008 4:26 AM PDT

I loaded the Adobe combo above on my sons new Vista x64 laptop last night. It installed fine, but will not run either program. When I click on either icon it just sits there. No error, it just won't run. I curious as to whether this is a x64 issue or not. It seems to run fine on my Vista 32 bit machine. Any ideas? You have confirmed it runs fine on your x64 machine?

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Adobe support...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 6, 2008 7:32 AM PDT
In reply to: Adobe PE 6/Premiere 4

You paid dearly so ask for the patch from them.

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Running 32Bit software on a 64Bit OS
by palmallorca / August 16, 2009 12:57 AM PDT

To ignorant who claims that Vista 32-bit only detects up to 4BG of memory.

I have been using Vista 32-bit for 2 years now, and I must say that you could not be more wrong in saying that Vista 32-bit only detects up tp 4BG of memory. Because I have 8GB of memory and you're right, Vista 32-bit only detects 3.9GB. But, as soon as you instal Vista Service Pack 1 (Vista SP2 is now also available)Vista 32-bit do detects my full 8GB of my memory.

So perhaps would be better if you get the wrigh advise before you giving the wrrong advice to members of the forum.


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That detection is a sham.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 16, 2009 1:04 AM PDT

A sham, a shame or worse? While it REPORTS the memory, Vista 32 still can't use that memory. The reporting had to be fixed for a very simple reason. People were returning machines because of the mis-reported RAM.

The vendors of the machines were upset about it so MSFT patched it up yet the 32 bit OS still at its core will not use that RAM. Just report it.

Shameful sham.

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I don't know
by Jimmy Greystone / August 16, 2009 2:05 AM PDT

I don't know. The whole 32-bit addressing thing isn't exactly a big secret. People have known about it since the tech specs for the 386 were released when Intel introduced protected mode processing.

Yes, they could have used something like PAE to get something more akin to the 48-bit memory addressing you have in x86-64 CPUs (may as well get started on telling people that neither Intel or AMD's consumer 64-bit CPUs have 64-bit memory addressing) but then you run into a real quagmire of having to explain to some people with much older systems why they are not able to use more than 4GB of RAM.

I think everyone who understands the technical side of things, realizes that shifting to a 64-bit platform is the best technical option, and the way Microsoft is doing it is quite a bit more gentle than the kick in the teeth Apple tends to deliver when it shifts to a new platform. But in this case, they get kind of caught in a no-win situation. If they don't do the false reporting, people complain because they got suckered into buying a system with 4GB or more or RAM, and Windows is only recognizing about 3.5GB of that. Of course then when people find out that regardless of what it's reporting, it's still only using 3.5GB, they still complain.

I just wish they'd skip 128-bit CPUs and move straight on to 256-bit in the next go around. At the rate things are going, that's probably the only way CPU makers will be able to have a core design with enough staying power to make it profitable.

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Software won't work?
by Jelly Baby / September 6, 2008 8:35 AM PDT
In reply to: Software won't work?

You say that "most of your software won't work" (under Vista 64)
What are you using? 32 bit applications, with very few exceptions, install and run without any problem. There's no support for really old 16 bit applications and there were rumours that there were a few 32 bit applications still using 16 bit installers which wouldn't install - but I've never found any.
The only thing I've not been able to get working under Vista 64 is my Nikon film scanner - and that's due to Nikon not providing a 64 bit driver.

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Vista 64 Opinion
by Tim De Lord / September 5, 2008 6:21 PM PDT
In reply to: Is 64 bit worth it?

I say, it depends, on what you want to use your PC for. I use 64 bit, and let me tell you, I'm very happy with it! I do video editing, and I'm always pleased on the difference, verses, 32 bit, from a time perspective! sounds like for the money, its a nice bang for the buck!:) Now a year ago, all sorts of issues were upoun 64 bit Vista. But now days?? Things have caught up a lot!!
I use Nero ver 8, and it works great! all my printer drivers work! and, I think you'll be surprised, when you find out, how many programs do work with 64 bit Vista. And, You can always try running programs, in the compatability mode. Right click on program to run, go to properties, choose the compatability tab, and choose the "Run this program in compatabilty mode for" What ever you want. XP, Windows 98 etc!! Good Luck!! Happy

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Vista 64
by xtekm / September 5, 2008 6:47 PM PDT
In reply to: Vista 64 Opinion

I bought Vista when it was first released, and was gutted when it had fundamental flaws - couldn't believe MS would release it to the public in the condition that it was (even after trialling it for business customers for what 3 months before public launch) - eg Copy & moving files would take absolutely ages in calculating how long it would take to do that task, and moving folders would leave undeleted empty folders on the source drive, leaving you thinking that you've forgotten to move it...

So never again, eh? At the time, pre-launch I've even opted to get an XP-Pro with free upgrade to Vista - but never got the free upgrade because of microsoft's outsourced company was so bad at handling this simple task - admin error and therefore I couldn't get the upgrade, even though I've done everything I've been asked to do - I won't be doing that again...

However SP1 seems to have cleared many a things up, and is running much better...

It's coming up to 2 years for when Vista was first released, and not many x64 apps - I believe Adobe is coming out with 64bit Photoshop soon (I'll be looking forward to that & still waiting for 64bit Premiere Pro)...

However, existing apps and software seem fine - as it can handle 32bit programs very well, unless you've got a really old piece of peripheral or use 16bit programs, that might be a problem...

However, I do have 1 piece of software that doesn't work properly in Vista x64, and I use virtualisation software to run XP-Pro on top of the Vista x64.

Might be useful if you have any problems with old software - try downloading Microsoft's free Virtual PC...

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Vista 64
by windmill414 / September 8, 2008 12:16 PM PDT
In reply to: Vista 64

The only programs That won't run are ALK Copilot laptop for trucks & Dragon Naturally Speaking Ver 9 Or 10. I bought both in preferred.
Version 8 does work though!!!

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Works for me
by Whitecougar / September 12, 2008 11:30 PM PDT
In reply to: Is 64 bit worth it?

I've been running vista 64 bit since april 08 with very little problems. The main difference between 32 and 64 bit is 64 bit will recognize 4+gbs of ram. 32bit will only recognize approx 3.5gb. I have loaded 32 bit programs with no difficulty but choose to use 64bit when possible. If the pc is 64bit compatible then why not use it...

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by metmichallica / September 14, 2008 9:59 AM PDT
In reply to: Is 64 bit worth it?

It's actually the same model of a computer I have, everything runs fine, but you got to be careful with what you put on it and install, because not all programs are compatible with the 64-bit version of windows. If you have older programs I don't think they will work, this computer actually came with a trial version of Norton Internet Security. The trial was actually replaced by Norton 360 which my dad bought the other day and you can use it on 3 computers, which is a good thing.

Mine came with a HPw1907 monitor and I believe it is a 19 inch and a printer, bought at bestbuy. Though they still are selling the same model computer at bestbuy. I believe they are coming with 22-inch monitors.

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Stop hating Vista you Maccers
by chastx1981 / September 14, 2008 7:09 PM PDT
In reply to: Is 64 bit worth it?

I have been using Vista and Vista x64 since the betas.
using either edition 32-bit or 64-bit all the software released in the last few years works fine. and if your using something from the stonage upgrade. You cant expect an antique computer to be able to run tommorrows applications. Everyone with an updated system has no problems running vista. Vista x64 is even faster, and more secure with less lockups and bugs as 32-bit vista. it will run all software that works on 32-bit version. i have recommended it to several of my customers and none have complained

i currently use it on 3 different computers
MAIN: HP Media Center m8307c
RAM: 3GB DDR2 PC 5300




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Re: Vista 64 bit
by Kees Bakker / September 14, 2008 7:28 PM PDT

"all the software released in the last few years works fine".

That's simply not true. Dragon Naturally Speaking doesn't as the maker says in They don't even know yet when a compatible version will be released.

Let's say: "most current software works fine, but not all". And, related, "most hardware has compatible drivers, but not all".
Better check before installing this OS.


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gotta love that last paragraph
by innocent_bystander / September 15, 2008 9:26 AM PDT

Not one single mention of Macs in the entire thread and the suddenly, out of the blue, the blame for all the bad press for Vista is laid at the doorstep of Mac users.

All caps too! Very impressive!

I wonder if the poster was aware that Macs have been 64bit for some considerable time now, so they are not really the ones that are "scared of change"

How did the thread go from being a question about 64bit computers to being a personal review of iPhoto?

Perhaps the problem lies closer to home.

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Is 64 bit worth it?
by brianwolters / September 24, 2008 4:38 AM PDT
In reply to: Is 64 bit worth it?

I think so...but not now...I had one key program (Adobe Premiere Elements 3.02) that would not work at all under 64 bit, so I went back to 32. Sad

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